Total score: 7.5/10
Moon Dog, who never cease to amaze with terrible pun names and crazy beer ideas, have concocted this beer that they deem as a “Barley Champagne” due to the addition of Champagne yeast to a Barleywine. Anyway throw in a reference to Rolf de Heer’s twisted film and I’m in the least intrigued (even if I found the film in question to be a bit too disturbing for my tastes).
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Pale clear straw gold colour with a non-existent briefly white head and minimal carbonation action going on. Possibly one of the most interesting coloured beers I’ve ever seen with a gold that would make Goldfinger (the villain of the eponymous Bond film) lustful. it’s a 9/10 for being so damn golden.
S: Vinous aroma with a Brut/Sauv Blanc slant containing: Gooseberry, passion fruit, lychee and apricot. The aroma is spot on as advertised and quite enticing to the occasional white wine drinker in me (had some Retsina last night actually). 9/10.
T: Before the first sip you’re expecting dry Brut Champagne flavours then the taste mugs you with a massive Botrytis uppercut – then the back of the throat gets a left hook of that 13.1% ABV that you were expecting. The above characters of that gooseberry/passion fruit/lychee/apricot never really manage to overcome the heady sugar/alcohol hit within this drop – a slight shame but it’s still quite an interesting brew regardless and you can get a sense of Champagne in the aftertaste. 7/10.
M: A viscous wine-like body with some light but razor sharp carbonation bodes well for this Barleywine (with a capital ‘W’ in wine). 7/10.
D: It’s hard to get past how interesting, and how extreme, this brew is, and you really don’t expect anything less than insane from Moon Dog, however this beer is even more niche than your usual Moon Dog (and that is saying a lot!) so be wary of this if you should happen to try Bad Boy Bubbly. Personally I liked this as an example of how wine-like a Barley“wine” can get and even though it was a quick to slap me down like Champagne seems to do to me (must be the yeast?) I would give it another go if I see it again. 7/10.
Food match: Hard shelled sea food – crab, lobster, oyster, mussels – would work best with this wine-imitator.